Innovation of the Year Award Winner


2021 Winner Project 
A Free Open Educational Resource (OER) Based Intermediate Algebra Course MAT 1033C

  • Amanda Saxman, professor, mathematics
  • Joel Berman, professor, mathematics
  • Steve Francis, professor, mathematics
  • Richard Weinsier, instructional lab supervisor

The creation of the OER Intermediate Algebra course began in fall 2018.

The Openstax textbook and IMathAS platform were chosen as the best free resources for this course creation. Openstax textbook exercises were coded into IMathAS, videos were created and selected to match and the Canvas course layout was built to integrate it all.

The course was piloted with 12 classes in spring 2019, and two more instructors joined the pilot in summer 2019. In fall 2019, many more faculty began using these materials on East Campus, and a course materials committee was called to review the textbook/course material options for Intermediate Algebra. The committee voted to use the OER Intermediate Algebra course created by the team as one of the two main options for East and Winter Park Campuses starting in summer 2020. Now the materials are being shared collegewide for consideration. The course is also slated to be ROC-reviewed in the near future.

To read more about this project, click here

2020 Winner Project
Valencia College’s Accelerated Skills Training (AST) programs

  • Carolyn McMorran, assistant vice president, professional and continuing education 

These short-term training programs are designed to get students into high-demand, high-wage careers and are designed for students who do not desire a degree but want the ability to earn a sustainable wage. AST programs specifically target students from diverse populations —such as the unemployed and underemployed — and allow the College to serve students that traditionally would have not considered Valencia as an option.

For students who need to get their career started, this model allows them to jump-start the process and be able to compete in the employee market because of the intensive hands-on training provided by the programs. By lifting up students with high-demand credentials, students are able to earn a family sustainable wage and start a great career.

These programs are intensively taught with a hands-on approach and include recruitment and job placement services to help students with the process. Additionally, many AST programs articulate back to the College, so if students want to pursue a degree, they can use what they have accomplished in the AST program toward a degree path.

To read more about this project, click here.

2019 Winner Project
Valencia College’s New Media Communication Associate in Science

  • Wendy Givoglu, dean, School of Arts and Entertainment
  • Linda Neal, dean, communications
  • Courtney Lewis, professor, speech
  • Edie Gaythwaite, professor, speech
  • Rob McCaffrey, professor, digital media
  • Rebecca Newman, professor, mass communication and journalism
  • Kristy Pennino, professor, graphic design
  • Liza Schellpfeffer, professor, speech
  • LeSena Jones, manager, career and workforce education

The New Media Communication degree prepares students to work as social media strategists, new media coordinators and social media content developers, as well as serve in a variety of entry-level media communication roles in the creative, marketing, journalism and communication industries. Students are provided with theoretical and classroom experience that closely parallels on-the-job activities in the social media industry, as well as many others. Students are also able to earn an 18-credit Social Media Communication Support technical certificate while working toward the degree.

To read more about this project, click here.

2015 Winner Project
Global Citizen Program Recipients:

  • Kera Coyer, academic advisor
  • Suzette Dohany, professor, speech
  • Susan Dunn, manager, credit programs
  • Linda Firmani, counselor
  • Jean Marie Fuhrman, professor, reading
  • Cate McGowan, professor, English
  • Valerie Woldman, professor, humanities

The inter-disciplinary team helped to integrate an international component, either as an embedded unit, an assignment or both, in their classes so that all courses in the Honors Jeffersonian Track will have an internationalized component.

“The Global Citizen Program is a Jeffersonian Honors track of the James M. and Dayle L. Seneff Honors College and a unique concept at Valencia College that can be easily replicated at other colleges,” explained Suzette Dohany.

The program has a unique partnership with Valencia’s sister college, Koning Willem I College, in the Netherlands, and provides an exceptional opportunity for the students in the program to step outside of their comfort zones by getting involved directly and personally in the lives of others living thousands of miles away.

“Indeed, a new ‘ICE Age’ is coming: the age of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship on both local and global scales,” Suzette declared. “At the heart of the program are the students, complete with their needs and circumstances; and as the world becomes smaller through technology and travel, it is increasingly important to develop international understanding in students.

2014 Winner Project
Circles of Innovation: Where Good Ideas Collide and Great Discoveries Are Made Possible! Recipients

  • Adriene Tribble, professor, humanities
  • Karen Cowden, professor, reading
  • James May, professor, ESL

Circles of Innovation (Circles for short) is an attempt to create both digital and physical spaces where self-directed faculty, those driven by a sense of mastery and common purpose, can come to mingle, contribute, collaborate, solve problems, and create new forms for Great Teaching. In addition to monthly, face-to-face meetings which offer a creative spin on professional development, is a socially ranked, topically tagged, open-source, shared space where teachers from across the country can come to learn and share. Circles of Innovation is “Where good ideas collide and great discoveries are made possible!”